Controlling is a local role, close to operational directions. Efficient controlling contributes to margin security and improvement, cash-flow acceleration, strategic plan execution, and the identification of new value creation levers. Its interest for the CFO lies in developing the role without changing headcount.
Context and challenges
Establishing a clear and factual diagnostic of the roles and responsibilities of the Operational Controlling function has several advantages:
- Qualify the perception of operational departments regarding Controlling (skills, soft skills, professional knowledge, quality of finished products, relevance of analyses and recommendations, etc.)
- Define and validate macro-activities for each type of area in question and asses their respective weight for the function in terms of load. It validates any gaps perceived by departments, in terms of deliverables or skills
- Share and align departments’ qualified expectations with the strategic plan and the targets of the Finance function as a whole
- Identify activities that can be supported by other stakeholders in the function (e.g. Shared Services), to release potential capacity for departments to become involved in other, more strategic tasks
- Define the key deliverables to be developed and the skills to be acquired by the Controlling staff, once needs have been aligned
The diagnostic helps to ensure that key stakeholders all buy into a common vision of the target Controlling function. Once validated, it is necessary to tackle the skills gap, to move closer to achieving that vision. In addition to its technical characteristics, the Controlling function requires the following skills:
- Knowledge of the market and the existing business models
- Quality of communications
- A highly flexible approach, to promote a Business Activist positioning within operational departments
A skills matrix should be defined, followed by the drafting and execution of an action plan.
Specific attention will be paid to the specification, development and production launch of the deliverables defined in the vision.
How can Argon Consulting help you?
Argon Consulting assists its clients throughout the diagnostic and vision creation process for the target Controlling function.